Child pornography is considered one of the worst crimes in Florida, and police forces work endlessly to find end-users and put them behind bars.
There are many people who may be involved in a police investigation sting, including those who produce images or videos with child pornography, people who have distributed child pornography to internet users, and the people who use child pornography for their personal benefit.
If you know of a child that has been a victim of child pornography, whatever the capacity, you should contact your local authorities and take the perpetrator to court. If you are submitting a child pornographer to court, you are going to want to find a competent lawyer to defend your case. If you have been accused of child pornography allegations, you are going to want a lawyer that will fight for your case and give you the best legal standing possible.
Child pornography cases are difficult, and in Florida, sentences may be even more severe, as child pornography is taken very seriously, and ethical judges will deliver harsh sentences and show little mercy. Let a professional defend you in court, and work for you day and night to give you the best legal options to consider. Develop your court strategy and win your case with our dedicated and hardworking law firm.
Know the Law
In many cases, if you have been convicted of owning or attempting to distribute child pornography, law enforcement will try to give you the most severe punishment that the law will allow. Knowing the laws surrounding child pornography is imperative should ever an accusation arise.
According to Florida Statute 847.001(3), “‘Child pornography’ means any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.” Florida Statute 847.001(8) says that a minor is considered to be any individual under the age of 18 years. While child erotica is frowned upon by law officials and is often a gateway for users to collect more child pornography, child erotica is not considered illegal.
Knowing what you may be charged with depends on your involvement, and sentences vary depending on the details of the case.
Florida Statute 847.001 (16) defines sexual conduct as mentioned by Statute 847.001(3) by the following actions and circumstances that involve minors in visual media:
- Actual or simulated sexual
- Deviate sexual intercourse
- Sexual bestiality
- Sadomasochistic abuse
- Actual lewd exhibition of the genitals
- Actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party
- Any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed
Each and every one of the above offenses is completely illegal and can be punishable by the court of law. If you are ever accused of such involvement in any circumstance, you will want to find an attorney to represent you in court that will be knowledgeable about these laws and statutes. Hire a hard-working and dedicated law firm that will give you the best legal strategy when battling tough persecutors in the court of law.
Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography
Child pornography allegations are taken seriously in the state of Florida, and the state has some of the harshest penalties for possessing small amounts of child pornography. If you are convicted of possessing child pornography and found guilty, you will have to face charges of a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony will result in a fine of $5,000, and five years in state prison.
The penalties only increase for each count of possession, meaning each picture, video, or visual image. Let us say that you are convicted with 10 counts of possession, which usually means you have 10 pictures or videos with one child, but it can also mean 5 pictures or videos involving two children. This will result in 50 years that you will have to serve in state prison. If you are convicted of 30 counts of possession, or 30 pictures, you will likely serve 150 years of prison to life. You do not want to suffer from these harsh penalties, so hire a determined law firm that will help you reduce the number of years you will have to serve.
Even if you are a third party that does not have the pictures downloaded on any hardware, you may suffer severe consequences for transmitting child pornography. You do not want to lose a case against the following allegations concerning the use of child pornography such as:
- Selling child pornography
- Manufacture child pornography
- Attempt to distribute child pornography
- Promoting child pornography
- Create child pornography images and files
You will be served an even harsher sentence than possession in any of the above circumstances. The activities demonstrated above will land you a second-degree felony charge, and you can be sentenced to up to 15 years in state prison. If you are ever found in such a circumstance, it may be time to consider hiring a professional attorney to help represent you in court and give you the best legal options available. Every case is different, and you want to hire someone who knows the laws and has had experience representing such cases.
Further Consequences and Helpful Resources
If you are found guilty of charges relating to child pornography, you may have to suffer from more than just the consequences of court fines and time in state prison. When found guilty of charges, you will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, and your friends and family may look at you differently, especially if they feel you are guilty.
It may be harder to find a job, pass background checks for apartment rentals, and certain professional licenses will be revoked. You may not be accepted to certain colleges, and loans will be harder to obtain. These consequences are enough to crush someone and ruin their lives, but if you are properly represented in court, you may not have to serve such harsh penalties.
Get the Representation that You Need for Your Case
A criminal defense attorney can help you win a case and prove your innocence in certain circumstances. Sometimes, a professional attorney will be able to prove that you were not the person who downloaded the images to certain hardware storage units and may be able to prove that another person is responsible for the possession of child pornography. In other cases, they may be able to prove that the child pornography files had been downloaded to your computer via a virus that transmitted the images over the internet.
In other cases, a professional law firm will be able to reduce your sentence if you are classified as a victim of entrapment, in which law enforcement procured a situation that encouraged your involvement in a criminal act. Even if you are found guilty, there are ways to reduce your sentence and create a better legal standing than by receiving a state-provided lawyer.
Here are a couple of other circumstances in which your case may be dismissed, or your sentence reduced:
- The Content is Not Deemed Child Pornography – Child pornography has a very detailed description in the law, and if your content does not depict naked children or sexually explicit content featuring children, your case may be dismissed in the court of law.
- Illegal Search or Scope of Investigation – If the law officials that searched your hardware files did so illegally or went past the scope of investigation granted by the warrant, you may be able to have your sentence reduced, or in some cases completely dismissed.
- Victim of Psychological Addiction – In some cases, your attorney may be able to minimize the sentence that you have to serve if convicted if they can prove that poor mental health contributed to an addiction to pornography. This defense is rare and depends on a variety of circumstances to be involved, but a competent lawyer may be able to find a way to reduce your sentence using this defense.
Hire a Professional Attorney
Every Florida citizen deserves the right to a fair trial, even if the crimes investigated are especially heinous. Every case is different, and you want to find a law firm that knows their stuff and has the ability to find the best legal options for proceeding with your case, no matter the circumstance.
You want the best team of law experts that will treat your case with the utmost respect and importance, a team that will work day and night to fulfill your legal needs. Every person in Florida should legally have access to a fair trial, and we here at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will be able to provide you the best legal options available for your case. If you are convicted of possession of child pornography, or with intent to sell such materials, you will have to work quickly to find the legal help you need to fight intimidating prosecutors.
Grant yourself the defense you need, and do not ruin your life because of indecision. Give us a call today at (754) 755-8554 to schedule a consultation.